.38SPL Range Gun


May 5, 2007, 09:07 AM
Hi folks!

I bought my now 25 y.o. daughter a Model 637 last year. It is the first gun she has ever owned. I choose it because she expressed a desire to obtain her CCW.

While we did some occasional plinking, it was a few weeks ago that she, my wife & I took a 1 day Handgun Class. She did OK at first, it soon became apparent that the firing characteristics of little J-frame were taking a toll on her (not a surprise). In fact, 1 of the instructors loaned her a 4" Model 10 to finish the class out & her shooting improved.

As I would never pass up the opportunity to buy another gun with my wife's blessing :D , I want to buy my daughter a range/practice revolver. I want it to be chambered for 38SPL as her 637 is; obviously a .357MAG would work too but I don't need to spend extra $$ for that. I'm probably looking for a barrel of 4" or so. No problem with a good used revolver either.

In a new revolver, does anyone have experiance with a Taurus M82? I think I can pick up a NIB locally for about $280 - $300, depending on finish. The method of operation is the same & both have fixed sights. The 82 is a 6 shot while the 637 is 5, but other than that they are very similar. I don't think I can get a new 4" K frame for anywhere near that.

Any comments on the M82? How about suggestions for used?

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May 5, 2007, 09:14 AM
Look for a used S&W mdl 10, 14, 15 or their stainless counterparts.
You will have a smoother gun and probably less money invested.


May 5, 2007, 09:39 AM
Iggy is correct on a used K frame. 4 - 6 inch K frames seem to be much cheaper than the snubbies on the used market. A nice M10, M14, or M15 can be had here in central Ohio (your area my vary) for less than $300 and are fine revolvers for punching holes in paper. I picked up my NIB M14 for $325 (paid extra for NIB) and it is by far the most enjoyable shooter I own, it almost never misses the bullseye. ;)


May 5, 2007, 11:40 AM
I would also suggest a 4 inch S&W K-frame. I picked up a M66-7 which is a 357mag, but shooting the 38's it is a nice range shooter. My g/f loves to shoot up all my 38's when we go to the range. I paid less than 300.00 for mine used in good shape.

My 66-7 is very accurate and the trigger is very smooth. It is not that bulky/heavy and point/aims very well.

May 5, 2007, 12:51 PM
Look for a used S&W mdl 10, 14, 15 or their stainless counterparts


Basically the Mod 64 is the stainless Mod 10 & the Mod 67 is the stainless Mod 15. :)

S&W Models (http://www.handloads.com/misc/Smith.Model.Changes.asp)

May 5, 2007, 01:00 PM
With revolvers I'm a fan of Smith & Wesson & Ruger. or a Colt Python

Old 112
May 5, 2007, 03:19 PM
My brother has the 82 blued, and my wife has the 83SS with adjustable sights. They are very well built revolvers, and shoot reliably and acurrataely. I also have two S&W 15s, a 14, and a snub 19. Fantastic weapons. I will give the edge for acurracy to any of my Smiths. Also, the Smiths have wonderful balance, feel, and grace to them. Having said all this, my wife still prefers the Taurus, because it feels right in her hands, and she shoots it very proficiantly, confidantly, and because it is Pretty. Mabe let your daughter handle the revolvers your considering because her imput will help to make a good decision for her wants. Just a little of what little I know. Old 112

May 5, 2007, 05:05 PM
For a range gun, wadcutters, semi-wadcutters, etc. You just cannot beat a nice used Model 15 4". I bought mine less than a year ago for 199.00. Shoots better than I do and mid rand wadcutters feel like .22's. Will also do double duty as home defense gun with a good +P round and not be hard to control. LOL Bill

May 5, 2007, 05:09 PM
Model 67.


May 5, 2007, 07:23 PM
The Taurus revolvers aren't bad but their triggers are not that great. I'll have to agree you will be a lot more happy with a used K frame. Your daughter liked the instructors Model 10, that should be your answer right there....

May 5, 2007, 09:23 PM
Smith 10-8.


I can't make this thing shoot badly. Good for range AND defense.

May 5, 2007, 09:53 PM
I had a Smith M66 and it was a nice shooter with .38s, a bit harsh with .357s. A lot of them got turned in when many LEOs switched to semi-autos. There are plenty of nice ones to be had for decent prices.

May 6, 2007, 09:29 AM
Never to be one to procrastinate - especially when it come to buying a new gun - I acted yesterday :D

Background: I have recently decided to finally acquire a long desired handgun, that being a Browning HiPower. I have to order it, & drove over to my dealer to put down a deposit. There in the used display case sat this:


This is a Smith & Wesson 4" Model 10-7. (Sorry for the crappy pic folks - I just don't have time now to set up for a better one.) The finish on this gun is a little worn; there is holster wear at the muzzle, cylinder, top of the toe strap & at the front of the frame along with the wear on the ejector rod. The blueing is dulled & maybe a little thin along the gripping surfaces & bottom of the trigger guard. No real pitting to speak of.

Mechanically, the gun is absolutely solid. The lockup is as tight as any revolver we own, including my wife's 3" M60 that has about 300 rounds of .38SPL through it & my new 642. End-shake is also as good. My wife & I ran 2 cylinder loads out of it yesterday in the back yard & from that short experiance it seems to be a shooter.

I paid $230 for it; I've been dealing with this guy for a lot of years & he told me that is as best as he could do & I tend to believe him (it was in the case for $249). I'm curious about opinions here - is that a good price?

Also - the serial number on the frame is 4D43XXX. Can anyone give me an idea of when this gun was manufactured?

As always, thanks for the help folks!

May 6, 2007, 09:37 AM
I think you did good. Seems like just what you were looking for.

May 6, 2007, 10:01 AM
If you are happy, the price is right. Nice wheelie!

May 6, 2007, 12:12 PM
Sweet Model 10! I like the thin front sights on the earlier ones. :)

May 6, 2007, 12:48 PM
Put a set of Pachmayr or Uncle Mike's grips on it. Makes a big difference. The model 10 is a solid revolver and $230 for it is not unreasonable.

Sorry, but can't help on the date of manufacture.

May 6, 2007, 02:31 PM
Kevinch, you made a very common mistake. A small frame revolver is not the ideal gun to learn on compounded by the fact that it was an alloy frame which about doubles the felt recoil compared to a steel frame with the same load. Light, small guns are not the easiest to shoot.

Buy the K, L, GP100, etc and have your learn to shoot the bigger gun first and all the skills learned will transfer to the small gun. Factory wadcutters are a good round for the 2" even as a carry round.

Gaucho Gringo
May 7, 2007, 01:03 AM
I have never seen a S&W anything for the prices you are talking about used. The lowest S&W around here starts at $450. and up. I would like to be able to buy at the prices you quote. They want more for used Taurus guns around here than they want for new, which is why the last three guns I purchased have been new, less than $800.00 for 3 of them

May 7, 2007, 08:36 AM
You have to look at the area to determine availability of good used K frames like that Model 10. SW PA is near quite a few large Police Departments who used Model 10',s, 15's and 64's. I bought a sweet Model 15 with the same holster wear for $199.00 not to long ago. The county PD used them for years and as these guys retire they show up, are common and do not go for big bucks. You will still see a few Colt's now and then although their prices have gone up they are out there. Bill

May 7, 2007, 09:02 AM
Everybody should have a S&W model 10. It oughta be a law!!

You made a very good purchase. If you limit your ammo to standard pressure loads, you can teach your kids and, your grandkids to shoot with that one.:)

May 7, 2007, 08:20 PM
Also - the serial number on the frame is 4D43XXX. Can anyone give me an idea of when this gun was manufactured?
In 1977 the Model 10-7 (Tapered Barrel) and 10-8 (Heavy Barrel) were released. The difference from the 1962 Models 10-5 and 10-6 was a change in the Gas Ring. In 1982 S&W started a 3 letter serial prefix so your revolver was maunfascturered between 1977 and 1981. If the Logo is on the left side of the frame instead of sideplate it might be a year older. That change was made in 1981 so then your range would be between 1977 and 1980.

The SCSW 3rd Edition had the prices set as:
ANIB: $365
Exc: $275
VG: $225
Good: $185
Fair: $135
Poor: $85

Hope this helps. Enjoy shooting that Model 10, I'm looking for one that's not over priced myself.

P. Plainsman
May 7, 2007, 09:27 PM
A S&W Model 67 -- see pic posted above by michael aos -- is perhaps the nicest and most appropriate starter handgun available.

- 4" barrel (good accuracy for fun practice, but still fairly compact)
- .38 Special +P (versatile, affordable, accurate caliber, ranging from light-loaded target wadcutters to +P hollowpoints that make it a quite credible nightstand/car defense gun)
- stainless (easy to take care of)
- DA revolver (simple to use, reliable, mechanically "transparent" in operation)
- adjustable sights (I like fixed sights on blued S&Ws, but prefer the dark adjustable sight frame on stainless guns. They do require a bit of "fussing" to sight in at first)

Perfect. And due to its quality and accuracy, she'll never "outgrow" it as a shooter. An afternoon of practice with an accurate, trusted .38 is always rewarding. There's just no downside -- except price, if you buy new.

S&W Model 10 is great, too. The blued, fixed-sighted version of the above.

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